Curious? Techie? Gadget lover? Want to know a new friend? Want to know more about me? Read on and you'll learn about me, my passions (that would be smartphones, cell phones and gadgets) and make a new friend!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Nokia 6682 Series S60 Smartphone!

I've been using the Nokia 6682 (The US version of the Nokia 6681) for a couple of weeks now, and here's my impression of the Smartphone:
  • Stable - never ever hung on me before. Memory management is a little odd to me. Symbian S60 OS would close applications if the device is lacking memory. I think this is a good thing, but it does it automatically and I think if the device were to prompt you before closing an application, it would be better.
  • Expansion slot - It takes Reduced MMC (RS-MMC) card. Wish Nokia would follow the industry and stick to Mini-SD or SD slots.
  • Cost - its an expensive device. The newer Windows Moble Smartphones can be purchased for a better price than the 6682.
  • Network - its got an excellent RF reception. It also supports EDGE, which is widely available. It, however, does not have 3G. That belongs to its sibling, the Nokia 6680 and that phone only supports 2100Mhz 3G. The US UMTS/HSDPA 3G network runs on 850/1900Mhz bands
  • Applications - this is growing, however, it still lags behind both Palm and Windows Mobile. It also doesn't come with Push E-mail, which could be a deal breaker for power users.
  • Size - Its huge! Its almost the same size as the HTC Apache (PPC-6700 and VX6700)! Sure it has a large screen, but it doesn't have a touch screen, and the battery size is not as big as HTC's. There's no reason why Nokia couldn't make a smaller S60 device.
Overall, its a solid smartphone, with stability as its main plus. It also has a lot of great shortcuts, which is a time saver. However, I'd recommend the Windows Mobile 5.0 Smartphones if you're in the market for one. It has more memory, and has more applications available to them.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Oh Moto Moto Motorola SLVR L7!

I had the Motorola SLVR L7 for a couple of weeks, and here are my thoughts about it:
  • Skinny! Its about the same thickness as an Apple Nano
  • Beautiful keypad. Motorola wisely kept the wonderful and wide Razr keypad on the SLVR. Its wide enough for my clumsy fingers dial easily
  • Bluetooth connection is iffy sometimes, especially with other non-Motorola bluetooth headset. Once I switched to the Motorola H3 bluetooth headset, the SLVR stopped dropping the connection.
  • The 100 iTunes songs limitation is irritating! The 512 microSD (Transflash) memory card that came with the phone is spacious enough to contain over 100 songs.
  • MightyPhone support is coming soon. (For those who don't know MightyPhone, its a service that stores your appointments/meetings, contacts and To-Do list on the server, and it automatically syncs your phone with your Microsoft Outlook/Lotus Notes)
  • Call quality is great. The reception is not as good as the Motorola Razr.
  • Expensive! At $199 for a 2 year contract, its not as expensive as the Razr when it first came out, but you're paying early user adoption fees for sure!
Conclusion:
For those who needs to be in the fashion, this is the new Razr! Its looks are unmatched! For those who are power-users, go for other phones. The SLVR doesn't have the EDGE connection for speedy data transfer!

Up next:
Nokia 6682 Series 60 (S60 now) Smartphone. Would it be your next purchase?

Monday, February 06, 2006

Fun at the Science Museum


My parents are in town, after an amazing America trip (went on the unlimited train pass), and so I decided to bring them to the science museum. Lots of fun there, and kids get to do a lot of stuff. The pictures of the dinosaurs shows how big these gargantuan pre-historic animals were. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I'm just stoopid (Schizophrenia part 2)

Fast forward a number of years. Seems that my nightmare has yet again been conquered. I'm now living in Canada, married, have a great job at Canada's premier communication company and am on the way up. I've just completed my Masters in Business and Technology from one of Australia's top schools and have been offered the Project Manager position. Its an amazing achievement, especially for someone as young as me. Have my troubles gone away? No. I would be deceiving myself if it did. In fact, its much worse. Follow me here..

The whispers that I've always had since young has changed into actual voices. Floating ghost voices. I would hear them talking at the next cube, and its always about me. At first the voices were flattering. They would say to each other (yes, there were 4 different distinct voices) that I'm really smart, and that I'm a high achiever. Blah Blah. With these kind of voices, who wants to get rid of them? However, there was a sinister side of it. Two of the voices would then get angry, and tried to point out that I'm a loser.

The good side always win, so I didn't care much. However, I hear the two voices saying that I'm talking behind my boss' back. I was so sure that it was talking to my boss, that sometimes out of the blue I'd call him on his cell phone, denying that I ever said that. If I were him, I'd think that I should be checked out. Being the great guy he is, he just goes along and says that I'm doing fine, and that he believes me. Little did I realize that I'm going down further into my psychosis.

At the end of 1999, I was so paranoid, that I've decided to move to USA, to start afresh, I tell myself. After applying to hundreds of jobs, and receiving several callbacks, I got an interview! The company paid my flight, and I took the red eye, for the interview at morning itself. I met with the General Manager, the Vice President of Operations, and 5 other IT staffers. They were re-organizing the business, having sold a large part of their business and they were bought over by a Cleveland, OH based company.

I immediately took a liking with the General Manager, and we immediately got along. He was an older chap, and he's really nice and amicable. I left that night, thinking that it would be great if I were to get the job. The next morning, I got a call from the recruiter, and he was real excited, telling me that I had clinched the deal! Later I heard that there were a number of suitable people, some even with Masters and PhD. I was real excited, and told my then wife about it. She wasn't too thrilled, as she had grown to love Vancouver. After discussing it, she decided to stay in Vancouver, while I move to Minneapolis first.

After finding an apartment, the move was arranged by the company - all expenses paid. I was real optimistic at this point. I tnought that I'd leave all the negativity from those people (yes, I really still think that they were actual people) and start in this great company. Its going to be something strange, but my parents were real supportive of my move. I haven't even heard of Minnesota before, so my dad borrowed Grumpy Old Men, and we all watched it. It seemed that I'm leaving a nicer place for a cold and barren state, but it wasn't going to deter me from the new job.

Pretty soon I immersed myself into my job. There were a lot of knowledge transfer to be done, and I am supposed to pick a lot of things up. It seemed that there were a lot of things that should've been done, but never was done. It was a lot of work, and I've put in a lot of long hours. Strange thing is, the voices never left! By that time, I should've been suspicious and decided something is wrong, but I guess I was just stoopid.

To be continued..

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Schizophernia and what it means to me

I remembered, I was only 14 or 15, when I started hearing whispers. I never knew who said them. I've never seen their face. I only knew that there were some people talking. Never really bothered me. In fact, I thought it was a normal thing for people to have a guide in their head. I never have heard of Schizophrenia. But first, a little more information on the young me.

I was an active student, pretty good at Karate, and had a knack in Mathematics. Yes, the dreaded subject to many was my favorite subject. I was so good, that I was at most of the time, top of the school in my grades. I was active physically, enjoyed my team at Scouts being the team leader of my pack. I loved hiking, travelling, had dreams of going all over the world to learn their cultures and to get to know more people. In another words, I was a normal, healthy teenager. Or at least I thought I was.

School was getting harder, as it was pretty soon that I were to get into university. I didn't know what to do with my life. I only knew I wanted to travel. I didn't know what to major in the university but I knew I had to get a degree to survive in the ever competitive working world. I find it discomforting that I'm finding it harder and harder for me to concentrate, whether its in school, or when I'm out and about. My mind wonders often, and these whispers are ever present, everywhere I go. It didn't mind me at first, but the whispers grew louder little by little. I did not notice, but I was ever feeling watched, or someone is out to get me.

That feeling stayed, and never left. At first I was able to ignore it. And when it got bad, I just basically sang a tune, or tried to drown it with music. After all, which teen didn't have a walkman then? Nah, its something that I'm sure it'll get easier when I grow up. But who was I kidding. I could hardly concentrate at lectures now, much less listen to instructions. My favorite subject, Mathematics, was all of a sudden very difficult.

I started struggling at school. At first I thought it was because I was working too much. After all, I'm trying to survive as a student. I started drifting off to a different world. The strangest thing was, I never thought that any of that was strange. I thought it was just a phase, because most people say that teenhood is the most difficult stage of your life.

My life took a turn when I received a letter from the school that year. I have been on probation for two consecutive semesters. I guess it was to no surprise, but it was a hard blow to me. I've always been in the best class. I've always been one of the better students. But now, I've been kicked out of school due to my grades. I told myself, that I would do better. I quickly enrolled myself to a local community coilege, and try to get good grades as quickly as I could, so I could go back to the university.


It was a good effort, and every ounce of my body and mind was strained to get back to the university. There, I found friends, and I was actually great in mathematics again! I took all the calculus classes there is, even 3 Dimensional Calculus. I really loved calculus and I found that my grades are so good, that the community college actually asked me to teach and guide students in mathematics! Sure, it was algebra and grade 12 materials, but I was getting my confidence back. I thought the worst was over, and that I was back in shape.

After a year in the community college, and almost getting my second year of university done, I reapplied, and the university took me back in. I was ESCTATIC! I thought for sure I will be able to get back to my groove. I've successfully ignored the voices, and with friends around, I did not feel as paranoid as before.

Well, seemed that I was wrong. I was poised to enter Computer Sciences and Mathematics department, as it was at the end of second year that you make your choice as major. One slight complication. The voices are back. My concentration wained again. I was furious with myself. I didn't know why I couldn't concentrate. I forced myself, thinking that it was my will, and that I was too playful and didn't want to study.

I didn't even last a year back at the university. I was out again. This time, second strike. The second strike is more severe than the first. I received the letter, just before Christmas that year. I dispaired. I didn't dare to go downstairs and joined my family celebrate Christmas. That Christmas, I spent in my room, locked and alone. Thoughts of committing suicide came across my mind. Seemed that there's no end of it. And I'm back, feeling paranoid.

To be continued..

Sunday, January 29, 2006

St. Paul Winter Carnival 2006

Its January, and since I had some free time, me and a friend decided to go and watch Mysteries of the Nile at the Science Museum to Saturday. I did a little reading on what's going on in St. Paul, and stumbled to the part where the Winter Carnival was on!

So we went to St. Paul early, expecting to have difficulty in parking. We walked to Rice Park, just across from the Science Museum and watched the festivities. We were lucky that we came early enough that we could watch some of the beautiful ice sculptures being made by the fantastic people!

Being close to the Opera house, we went in, thinking of getting some tickets to see Les Miserables for next week. But we stumbled to a great bargain, getting the fourth row ticket for a great deal! So for the next 3 hours, we enjoyed ourselves with Les Miserables. I've seen Les Miserables before, but that was 10 years ago! This will be the last time Les Miserables will be playing in the Twin Cities, so we're lucky to have gone!

That's how we ended the day, with a bang!

Friday, December 23, 2005

My run in with Nextel's only Smartphone, the Motorola i930

I recently had the opportunity to review the Motorola i930 phone, powered by Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition.

My overall view of this device is good. Its definitely a late comer to the Smartphone party, especially with its outdated Operating Systems, but what's important is that its stable, responsive and multi-tasks well.

I had it for a couple of weeks, and one thing I noticed about it right away is its short battery life. I did a test by downloading 900+ emails, totalling 15,000k. The completed download, with the setting of 5,000k per message, took 40 minutes - after which it ran out of breath and promptly shutdown. This was very unexpected, especially when the battery was full before I started the download.

The RF reception on the device was good, and this is primarily because Nextel has a good coverage in the Twin Cities. Sprint, which merged with Nextel, was a bad example for coverage, with my dwelling place barely getting any signal.

Look for the full review on www.mobiletechreview.com.

First Post!

Just a little factoids about me:
  • I was born in Indonesia, and have lived in different countries and have been in 3 different continents in the past 10 years.
  • I've been to Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, 20 different States in America, and of course Canada (I'm a proud Canuck!).
  • I'm currently residing in the Twin Cities, and have been here for 5 years now.
  • I have a Master's of Business and Technology from University of New South Wales, Sydney Australia.
  • I'm enjoying my work as an IT professional.
  • I'm a gadget maniac, I love new technology and am an editor with Mobile Tech Review
  • Some of my likes: chocolates (lots of them!), hiking, camping, computers, electronics, reading, cooking and singing (oh heavens no, I am just kidding on the last one).
  • Some of my favourite sites: Tech Bargains, Engadget, Gizmodo, Mobile Tech Review (of course!) and my Photo Blog. For links, see the column to the right of this page.

My favourite people:

  • Mom, Dad, my younger sister (they still live in Canada), and my elder sister (who's in Singapore).
  • My friends, whom I'll always cherish, especially my little sister!

My favourite animals:

  • Dogs, and Penguins! Don't you just love the way penguins walked?

My favourite movies:

  • Ok, you guys are gonna hate me for this, but my favourite movie of all time is The English Patient (did I hear boos and hisses?), and A Beautiful Mind.

I will be posting bits of pieces of information in regards to my gadgets, whether it be PDAs, Smartphones, Phones, Notebooks, Desktops, or just Technology in general.

I hope you find this blog informational and fun. Enjoy!